Make your New Year’s resolution stick this year
It’s the first full week of January – are you sticking to your New Year’s resolution?
From fitness and weight loss goals to quitting smoking, data suggests many won’t last but a few months into the New Year. Resolutions are easy to start, but experts agree, the challenge is sustaining them.
“Most resolutions are not well-planned and therefore are doomed from the beginning,” says Dr. Ashwani Garg, family medicine physician on staff at Elgin, Ill.-based Advocate Sherman Hospital. “It doesn’t matter when you start the resolution, the key is planning ahead.”
The top 10 resolutions of 2014 were losing weight; getting organized; spending less, saving more; enjoying life to the fullest; staying fit and healthy; learning something exciting; quitting smoking; helping others in their dreams; falling in love; and spending more time with family.
About 45 percent of Americans usually make some type of resolution or multiple resolutions, but the percent of those who actually follow through on those promises drops significantly as time goes on – 75 percent usually make it through the first week, 71 percent past two weeks, 64 percent past one month, and 46 percent past six months.
Dr. Garg suggests these tips for successful health-related resolutions:
- Do your homework – Do thorough background research about your resolutions from reliable sources.
- Get a good baseline – Go to the doctor for a checkup and get a baseline lab profile and detailed body measurements before creating a weight-loss plan. See a personal trainer to establish your baseline fitness and to kickstart your weight loss.
- Keep detailed logs – Occasional food diaries and workout logs on apps or fitness tracking devices or simply tracking your results with pen and paper show measurable results.
- Be accountable – Tell your family, friends and other about your goals and have them help you.
- Deal with slip-ups – Immediately deal with slip-ups by resolving to succeed and to analyze what led to the slip up.
- Have a definite timeline – Set definite steps and sub-goals at the three to four-week mark, three to four-month mark and at the one-year mark. After your goal is met, have a new plan for maintenance, and don’t fall back into the traps that led you to the problem in the first place.
- Seek extra motivation – If you need extra motivation to stay on track, try message boards or social media to share ideas for success with others.
About the Author
health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Aurora Health sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.